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UK orders first operational F-35 combat aircraft

IHS Jane's Defence Weekly // November 24, 2014

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed for its first four operational Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft as part of the Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP 8) production lot, it was announced on 21 November. 

Photo by Lockheed Martin.

The order marks an initial buy from the MoD's Main Gate 4 acquisition approval process for 14 jets to equip the Royal Air Force's (RAF's) 617 Squadron, which is scheduled to stand-up as the UK's first operational F-35B unit in 2016.

The UK already has two operational test and evaluation (BK-1 and BK-2) and one training aircraft (BK-3) delivered and flying out of Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. A third test aircraft (BK-4) has been signed for and is due to be delivered in early 2016.

Read the full story from IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.